2016

Well, here I am again, rounding-up a year in which I hardly blogged at all, in a blog post.  It does seem a little disingenuous, but the alternative was to continue letting virtual tumbleweed blow through here, and have all five of my regular readers wonder if I was ever coming back.

Well, hello to the loyal few, and thanks for sticking around.  2016 was an utterly bizarre year for a whole host of reasons on both a personal and global scale and honestly, there were several parts of it I would rather not revisit mentally here, but there was a lot of good too.

I started out the year with ALL THE INTENTIONS.  We’d just said goodbye to our foster baby and I was about to throw myself into the return to nursing program and full-time work and I also had other more personal plans afoot- but quite quickly, like literally by February- I knew that the year was not going to turn out how I had planned it would.  I quit the course- sorry, stepped off (sounds much more considered and responsible) and I’d been in a minor but fairly traumatic car accident, and totally separately to that been given an official diagnosis of PCOS.  Basically, by spring I’d scrapped every single resolution/goal I’d set myself and instead was in a place where my mission for the year was to- get a job, and survive.

Fortunately I managed both. And not only did I manage to find a job- but a job I actually really enjoy- working as a library assistant. Bonus! I also set up my own etsy shop, and managed to break even before the end of the year (another major bonus) and started work on no less than three separate WIP’s- two of which I abandoned and the third of which I’m still working on right now, well…not *right* now, since I’m here writing this, but you know what I mean.

The thing is, 2016 felt almost quiet in comparison to what I’d had planned for it- I was braced for so many HUGE changes to our everyday lives, that what happened instead- my quiet contentment with my part-time library job, and pootling away with my crafting and writing- seemed almost sub-plots, with me waiting to see what the over-arching storyline would be, but then there wasn’t one (aside from the world seemingly crumbling around us that is) and now it’s over and we’re three days into January and I’m wondering if I should even bother to make any GRAND PLANS for 2017 or just suck it and see.

I’m tempted to go with the latter although I do have a couple of things I want to pledge to myself- I WILL finish the first draft of this story, no matter how many times I read it back and groan or find myself writing notes to myself like WTF IS HAPPENING HERE in the margins, and I WILL NOT give in to the temptation to just shave off all my hair despite it’s unbearable appearance during this weird in-betweeny growing out stage.

Hugely important life goals, as you can see, but whenever I try to think bigger/look wider I feel overwhelmed, so for now a commitment to getting words down on paper and leaving my hair alone are all I can manage, and that will just have to be enough.

Happy New Year to my readers- I can’t promise a greater frequency or quality of blogging in the coming year but I won’t entirely abandon you either 😉

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2015

Having not blogged since October, I wasn’t going to do a yearly round-up post, as it almost seemed disingenuous to sweep in with only a few hours remaining of 2015 and attempt to summarise twelve months worth of incredible highs and lows, and life in all it’s glorious messiness.  Not when this has been my quietest blogging year yet, when great swaths of time have gone by un-narrated.  But then all around me, on social media I have been seeing other people’s concluding paragraphs, and reading about their hopes and aspirations for the coming year and there is just something about that drawing a line and turning to a blank page that I can’t resist.  So here I am, joining in.

We started out this year with very little in the way of goals, but we knew that the year was going to bring big changes as in the first week of January we were approved as foster carers for our local authority and began eagerly awaiting the arrival of a baby to care for.

Little did we know how long we’d have to wait, but sure enough, after a few false-starts, she came into the world in March and into our hearts and home in April.  Then sixteen days ago she left, and there is no way on earth for me to put into words all that came between.  Fostering was a rollercoaster.  People say that about all sorts of things, and maybe it’s a fitting metaphor for them all, but in this case, I am telling you- nothing describes the experience more accurately.  Highs and lows, total loss of control, confusion about which direction you came from and where you’re heading next, and so, so so much vomit. Seriously.

The thing is, I can appreciate the appeal of rollercoasters, but I get motion sickness.  And I’m no longer speaking in metaphors now, I can barely ride the bus into town without turning green.  Fostering was one hell of a ride, and when the ride came to a stop I was glad I’d got on, but I also knew, as I climbed out of my seat on wobbly legs, with my heart in my throat, that I wouldn’t be lining up for another go.

I won’t say never, because it was only 18 months ago I made the decision to leave nursing, and now I’m barely 3 weeks away from going back to it, so I’m starting to see how timing and circumstance play a huge part in so many of the decisions that I see as final.  But for now, we’re done.

As for what else has happened this year- our youngest child started school nursery full-time, which was a huge tug on my heart strings (and, let’s be honest here, ovaries) but was also so right- as he was so very ready and he’s settled in wonderfully.  And Chris started studying for his masters, because he literally cannot just NOT and is determined to be a student forever, albeit now a student with a full-time job, a part-time job, a young family and precisely zero time to write any of the assignments…so yeah…good luck with that cariad 😉

We said goodbye to Chris’s Taid this year, a wonderful man whose last couple of years of life were stolen by dementia.

Then a little later in the year I found myself applying for a return to nursing post, and in what I’m sure is just a coincidence, but felt very *something* I was allocated to an elderly medical ward specialising in dementia and I start work there next month.

I edited the book I wrote last year and a couple of lovely people (you know who you are) have been good enough to read it through for me already and have given me some great feedback.  I also wrote what on some level I suppose, could be called another book?  Or at least a vague semblance of a first draft of something that one day could possibly become a book?!  But such are the pitfalls of NaNoWriMo I guess?  In any case, I barfed out over 50k of words during the month of November and there are characters, setting and even a bit of plot (!) and I’m looking forward to diving back in to sort that wonderful awful mess out at some point in 2016.

Other things I’m looking forward to are settling back into life as a family of four, instead of five.  We’ve overhauled our entire house since Squishlet moved on, and in some ways it’s worked really well, as there aren’t constant reminders of her time with us everywhere, so we’ve got used to her absence probably quicker than if say, her cot was still standing empty and her bottles lined up on the kitchen worktop.  And yet, when I check on the boys before I go to sleep at night, I still take one step towards her door to check on her, and it’s only in the last few days that Chris and I have stopped ‘hearing’ her crying or the beep of her Angelcare monitor.  So…it’ll take a bit more time for us to fully adjust I think.  But it’ll be nice to get back to some of the things that either are, or just feel, impossible with a baby in tow.  Like family bike rides for example *looks out the window at the storm*…ok, maybe not.  But I’m sure there are other things we can do to make the most of our new-found baby-free freedom.

As for any specific goals, hopes or dreams for the coming year, I feel that they’re very much the same as always- happy days with my boys, quiet nights with my nose in a book, more time in the company of friends and family, and if possible to avoid any hospital stays/CIDP related drama- always a bonus 😉

So- farewell 2015.  I doubt I’ll be awake to see in 2016, but I will welcome it with an open heart tomorrow morning when I wake at 5.40 to give Chris a lift into work.  Or at least, after a coffee I will anyway.

And thank you to everyone who has supported us during the highs and lows of this year, and for those of you who’ve taken the time to read my witterings, past, present and future.  I love you all xxxx

mwah

 

 

Happy New Year!

I know i’m a little late to the party with this post but so far this year i’ve been mostly working and sleeping, leaving precious little time for blogging (or anything else either!)
I wanted to do a “New Year” post though because, following on from my last post about my challenges for 2012 i wanted to share my ‘resolutions’ for 2013.
So here they are:
1. Complete the Great Manchester Run

I know, i know.  Unless you follow me on facebook that will have just come as a bolt out of the blue. I do not run anywhere, ever. So signing up to run 10k (which is, like, a REALLY LONG WAY by the way!) seems a little nutty and definitely out of character.  But i’ve been wanting to do something a little nutty and out of character for a while, so actually choosing something that is healthy and will hopefully raise money for a very worthy cause is actually probably the best possible outcome of my musings!And just in case you think i’m bluffing here is photographic evidence of my actual running shoes!

The first pair of running trainers i have ever owned and ooooh they’re soooo lovely and purple.  They’re also amazingly lightweight, so much so that when they arrived i briefly thought Skechers had fucked up and sent me an empty box! They weigh 4.9oz (according to the tag, i haven’t actually weighed them)  I am hoping the prettiness will encourage me to actually put them on and run!
The run is on the 26th May and i am planning to start training on the 18th January which gives me about 4 months to get from a level of fitness where running up the stairs leaves me breathless to a level where i will at least make it to the finish line without requiring hospitalisation. I’m not setting myself a time goal or anything. I’m not a total lunatic!
I am aiming to raise money for two very special children whose story i have been following since i was pregnant with Toby- Findlay and Iona.  You can read about them here:
 
Or find their page on facebook here:
 
Their Mum, Charlotte was a member of a pregnancy and parenting forum i joined, and when Findlay was born i started following her journal  and later, when i was pregnant with Rudy, and Findlay’s baby sister Iona was born, i continued to be amazed and inspired by their story.
So any money i raise for the run will be going to them, and i have a Just Giving page set up here:
It’s a little sparse right now but should get more interesting once i actually start training. I was actually considering starting a new blog chronicling my progress but then came to my senses, and realised that between being a full time Mum of two, part-time staff nurse, girlfriend, friend, daughter, sister, cook, cleaner, writer of this blog and now fundraiser and runner too, i probably have enough on my plate?! So i figure i’ll just blog about it here and those who find posts about run-times and ankle strain and the such unbearably dull will just have to put up with it 😉
2.  My second resolution is to sort out scary but important stuff such as life insurance and wills etc.  This is not a fun resolution but something that needs doing.  Neither of us have life insurance or a will.  I am in the NHS pension scheme (whatever will be left of it by the time i’m retiring, which probably won’t be until i’m 95 anyway the way things are going *sigh*) but even that wouldn’t automatically go to Chris should anything happen to me, as we’re not married, so that makes things more complicated. It all needs sorting out and this is the year we’re going to do it. I’ve decided.

3.  My third resolution is more lighthearted, to balance things out.  I have resolved that this year i will be getting a new tattoo 🙂 It has been 12 years since my first and only tattoo-

So i think i have waited long enough to know that i’m not just doing it because it’s addictive.  It is addictive, i wanted another straight away, but i have been holding off trying to decide what to get and where and now i have some ideas, i’m ready to actually take the leap and go for it again.

So there they are, my resolutions for 2013.
I’m not so egotistical as to think 3 resolutions is all it will take to make me into the most perfect human being on the planet.  There are a lot of resolutions i could and perhaps should be making this year.  I really ought to mop the floors more, and you wouldn’t know it from this blog (haha) but i swear like a trucker, even around the kids (gasp) so should totally cut that shit out.  I need to learn to cook, but i tried that last year, with the recipes thing, and it’s just not happening.  I should at least endeavour to eat healthier though, but what’s the point setting a resolution i know i won’t keep?! I could probably do with losing about half a stone, but all the running should sort that out (right?!) Basically there’s bunches of resolutions to choose from, some small, some really really big and life-changing, some fun, and some really not so much but i want to keep it simple and give myself at least half a chance of succeeding so those are the three i picked- wish me luck!